It’s 14º F when I do the morning barn chores. There’s a smattering of snowflakes on the frozen pond.
Underneath, all is well. I see the fish, slowly moving.
When the temperature drops, the goats’ fur stands on end and they look especially fuzzy. Not that I’m making excuses for rotund Caper. He has put on weight. A New Year’s diet might be in store for him. Despite being plenty toasty, Caper asks for an extra flake of hay. I will not give in. Well, not more than a handful.
The Gems hurry out of their coop into their fenced pen. The ground is too frozen to scratch up and they want to go into the woods where the loose leaves harbor all sorts of tasty things. I’ll let them out later.
The old girls have no such ambitions. They fluff up their feather coats and stand in the corner of the yard where they know the morning sun will warm them. They remind me of dowagers on the deck of a cruise ship, swaddled in warm blankets and enjoying the ocean breezes.
Candy has spent the night nestled in her hay. She’s the one animal that relishes the cold. She’s waiting for snow so that she can tunnel and play. For now she’ll settle for a head scratch from me and a hop around the pen.
I seem to be the only cold one, but I don’t hurry through the chores. It’s a beautiful morning.
I’ll be away for the next few days where it’s really cold – in the mountains of Colorado – for a joyous wedding.